MEET THE TEAM

Each individual on The Blanchard Institute’s recovery team is extremely passionate about the work we do. Everyone brings with them their own unique set of skills and experience, and together, we form an unstoppable team that’s dedicated to helping our patients.

We look forward to being a part of your recovery journey.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Ward Blanchard, MA, MBA, CCS, LCAS – Founder/CEO

Ward Blanchard, MA, MBA, CCS, LCAS FOUNDER & CEO

Ward has become one of the most prominent mental health and Substance Use Disorder professionals in the country for his innovative work with clients and their family systems.

MORE

Allison Christie, MBA, MA, CAI-I, CadC-I Chief Administrative Officer

Allison was instrumental in the establishment of The Blanchard Institute in early 2016 and continues to lead the team as the Chief Administrative Officer.

MORE

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Judy Goodwin COMMUNITY RELATIONS director

Judy Goodwin brings 24 years of knowledge and experience working as an Admissions Coordinator in the field and is well connected to the community and behavioral health industry.

MORE

CLINICAL TEAM

Stacey Surratt clinical manager

STACEY SURRATT, MS, MT-BC, LCAS, CSI CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Stacey works from a relationship-based approach and enjoys incorporating creativity and multi-sensory tools into therapy sessions as a way to fully engage and retain growth from participation in the treatment process.

MORE
Elba Acosta primary therapist

ELBA ACOSTA, LCSW, LCAS LEAD PRIMARY THERAPIST

Elba is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed clinician addiction specialist with over 19 years of experience. She is also fluent in Spanish.

MORE
Samanda Stevenson | Clinical Assistant at The Blanchard Institute

SAMANdA STEVENSON, MA, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A, CTP

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Samanda’s awareness of the intersection between substance abuse and mental health with the criminal justice system inspired her to pursue a career in addiction counseling.

MORE
Johanna Bennett-Prettenhofer | Primary Therapist at The Blanchard Institute

JOHANNA BENNETT, LCAS, LCMHC-A, CCS, CCTP, ICAADC

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Johanna is very passionate about the work and the clients that we serve. She’s a team player and always willing to jump in to help her coworkers with whatever they need.

MORE
Courtney Herrera primary therapist

COURTNEY HERRERA, MS, LCAS-A, LCMHC-A, NCC

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Courtney has a passion for working with and advocating for individuals with substance use disorders, military members, and their families. She has experience working with medical detoxification treatment therapy.

MORE
Blake Floyd | Recovery Technician at The Blanchard Institute

Blake Floyd, CADC-I PROGRAM MANAGER

Blake feels he has found his true calling in the field of substance use and co-occurring disorders and through his own journey has become drawn to helping others.

MORE
Ashlee Lewis clinical assistant

ASHLEE LEWIS, MA, LCAS-A, LCMHC-A, NCC PRIMARY THERAPIST

Ashlee has worked in several areas within the mental health field but found a passion within the area of substance abuse.

MORE

Annie Morse CLINICAL ASSISTANT

Annie has a passion to help others around her, specifically in the field of Mental Health, and helps the team maintain the high standards of compliance required of their Joint Commission Accreditation.

MORE
Alexis Walters admissions coordinator

ALEXIS WALTERS, ma, lmft-a clinical assistant & assessor

Alexis grew up in Southern California before making her move to North Carolina. Alexis earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

MORE

Emily Nelson CASE MANAGER

Emily’s passion to help those struggling with the disease of addiction and mental health comes through her own interest in the field, as well as her own journey to recovery.

MORE

Brittany Bolden, BA, NCC CLINICAL ASSISTANT

Brittany is currently working on her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Capella University.

MORE

Stacey “Grace” Cruz,  MA, LCMHC, LCAS, EMDR-C EMDR Therapist

Grace is passionate about using evidenced-based treatments, as she believes this gives clients the best opportunities for healing and growth in the most efficient manner possible.

MORE
Jane Ritz | The Blanchard Institute

JANE RITZ, RYT200 Creatives

Jane Ritz specializes in reprogramming the traumatic effects of this event called “Life”—reconnecting us with our joyful and courageous nature to follow our life purpose and passion.

MORE

Corrie Thomas, MS, RD, LD/N Nutritionist

Corrie has seen first hand the importance of nutrition as a key component to recovery, and enjoys working with clients and simplifying nutrition for their individual needs.

MORE
Amanda Freels | Yoga Instructor at The Blanchard Institute

Amanda Freels Yoga

Amanda’s belief is that we have a deep well of wisdom and joy within ourselves, and one way to access that inner guidance and Truth is through the body,

MORE

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Darin Williamson | HR Coordinator at The Blanchard Institute

DARIN WILLIAMSON, CPSS HR Coordinator

Dedicated to lifting others up, Darin looks forward to building a stronger community based on recovery and helping to erase the social stigmas of addiction.

MORE
Mika Rhodes office administrator

MIKA RHODES, OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

As the Office Administrator and first point of contact, Mika’s goal is to remain grounded and be that safe landing place as our clients take those brave first steps toward a new way of living/being.

MORE
Jennifer Wolfe office administrator

JENNIFER WOLFE, OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR & PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Jennifer has a strong desire to help those in need and is passionate about leaving an impact on those around her. She understands the impact of recovery and success people have once they break through the cycle of addiction.

MORE

ADMISSIONS TEAM

Shelley Wood, BA Admissions Coordinator

Shelley lends understanding and compassion as clients begin their search for the treatment center where they’ll begin their journey to recovery.

MORE
Karen Mittler admissions coordinator

KAREN MITTLER, Admissions Coordinator

Karen was excited to join the behavioral health field, after a decade in health care administration. She enjoys bringing the human touch to a seemingly overwhelming and impersonal process.

MORE

FINANCIAL TEAM

Angela Opalak

ANGELA OPALAK, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Angela Opalak has over two decades of experience providing skillful leadership, direction and solutions for all aspects of healthcare practice management. She was an integral part in assisting in the launch of The Blanchard Institute in 2017…

MORE
Bill Boyle

BILL BOYLE, FINANCE DIRECTOR

Bill Boyle is from Northern Virginia and has been working the behavioral health field since 2017. He obtained his Masters of Accounting degree from George Mason University.

MORE

Monique Varnadore BILLING SPECIALIST

Monique holds a Medical Billing and Coding Certification with over 6 years of Revenue Cycle billing Experience.

MORE
Jennifer Cassidy | Revenue Cycle Specialist at The Blanchard Institute

JENNIFER CASSIDY, BA, MAS REVENUE CYCLE SPECIALIST

Jenny brings over 7 years of extensive revenue cycle billing and insurance collections experience with her to the TBI team.

MORE

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

Gibbs TOur & Therapy Dog

Gibbs was drawn into the field of substance abuse and behavioral health after her own personal recovery from a process addiction with chewing shoes and furniture.

MORE
Blanchard Client Care Team